Some devices are easy to examine. Like this 8th generation iPad, recently launched in India with a starting price of Rs 29,900. And the reason is simple. It’s best in class, it does everything it promises to do, it is very useful in this Stay-At-Home world, and is now such a familiar product that there are no surprises, neither pleasant nor unpleasant. The new iPad, with its 10.2-inch screen, is a pretty good tablet. But the dismal condition of its competition, which are Android tablets, means it’s an easy recommendation. If you’re looking to buy a good tablet and don’t mind paying Rs 29,900, just get the iPad.
What about the new iPad compared to the 7th generation iPad? Well, in this case it depends on the price. If you get the previous iPad for a few Rs 6,000 less, go for it. There is little difference between the two tablets except the faster A12 Bionic in the new iPad. But for all practical purposes, both are quick pills.
Now that this important stuff is out, let’s talk about the 8th generation iPad.
New iPad: what’s different
Apple last year gave the base iPad a bigger screen. It gained a 10.2-inch screen with a resolution of 2160 x 1620 pixels. The same screen makes its appearance on the new iPad. There has been no change. It’s still the Retina display and it’s just as good.
Then there are other key areas. The size is the same. The weight is similar at 490 grams against 483 grams for the previous iPad. The design is the same, with a plastic strip on the top to improve network performance. The 8-megapixel rear camera is the same and is flush with the sleek aluminum body of the tablet. Speaking of the aluminum body and design, it’s the same thing too. Same brushed metal and rounded edges. The 1.2-megapixel front camera is the same. There are stereo speakers. Same. There’s Touch ID, through that familiar round button below the screen.
So what has changed? The big change is the A12 Bionic processor instead of the A10 Bionic in the previous iPad. The A12 is up to 40% faster, although that doesn’t matter at the moment. That will matter two or three years from now, when Apple decides which iPad to support with its latest iPad operating system.
New iPad: how it works
It works very well. It works as well as an iPad, and much better than any Android tablet, even better than more sophisticated Android tablets.
But it doesn’t work as well as more expensive iPads like the iPad Air or iPad Pro. Several reasons for this.
While the 10.2-inch display on the iPad is quite good, it also feels a bit dated. It doesn’t show the kind of rich colors that more expensive iPads can display. Videos and games do not come out. That’s good because in its class, the iPad still offers one of the best displays you can get in a tablet.
Likewise, the design and build quality compared to more expensive iPads seem dated. There are no flattened edges or an exotic finish. Take the iPad out of the box and you’ll be tempted to say “Hello, old friend”. Its design is familiar, and while it performs well enough, it’s no longer the most exciting iPad design in the world.
And that too is good, because – and this is something you are going to hear over and over again – it is much better than what the competition is offering.
The 10.2-inch screen of the iPad strikes a good balance between ease of use. It’s great when you want to watch videos on it, or when you want to keep it flat on a table and browse something on it. But if you want to curl up with it in a bed or play games on it, you will find that it is a bit taller. The iPad Mini works best for these tasks.
But overall, at a time when people are always stuck at home, when kids are taking lessons through tablets, when people are watching more movies on a device like a tablet or smartphone, I have the feeling that the 10.2 inch iPad performs better than the Mini. for most people.
The performance of the new iPad is good. It gets the job done, without any lag, without any nervousness, without any drama. Split screen mode takes a few days before you get used to it, but once you do, you’ll find that using the tablet in landscape mode has its benefits.
The front camera works well enough for video calls, although it’s not in the league of front cameras you get in expensive phones. The rear camera clicks on 8-megapixel photos, with image quality on par with what you’ll get with a mid-range phone. In other words, the rear camera is there for you to click on an occasional photo or two, but if you have a slightly premium phone you should be relying on that instead of the iPad. Photos clicked with the iPad show noise in low light and lack the type of dynamic range that photos clicked with good phones show.
I have played several games on the iPad and found it to work well. However, the square design means I don’t particularly want to play games for long sessions. However, I want to browse it for hours after hours. The Safari in the iPadOS delivers desktop-class performance and view, and I wouldn’t hesitate to say that the browsing experience on iPad is better than what you’ll get on a similarly priced laptop. The same goes for the multimedia experience. Watching videos is so much better on the iPad. And yes, as is the case with an Apple device these days: you get a free one-year subscription to Apple TV +.
Battery life is good and even with fairly regular use I easily have a full day of tablet battery life. By the way, unlike the new iPhones, the iPad comes with a 20W charger. Thumbs up emoji here!
There are also additional things, but it requires additional expense. IPad supports the first generation pencil and smart keyboard. If you are looking to work more with the iPad, the keyboard becomes an essential accessory. It costs an additional Rs 13,900, which is expensive. You can also pair a gamepad with the iPad if you want to use it for gaming and hate holding it, like I do, while gaming.
New iPads and Android tablets: what to buy
There is no way that an Android tablet will mark on the iPad. This is due to the excellent iPadOS and the fact that despite little in design or updated hardware, the new iPad is still a pretty good tablet compared to its competition. It’s fast, it excels at some things browsing, looking at things, making photo adjustments, and it’s better in everything else compared to Android tablets. It lacks a lot of features from the latest iPad Air or iPad Pro, but these are much more expensive tablets.
In fact, starting at Rs 29,999, the iPad is what you should buy if you need a tablet and almost every family today needs a tablet.
There are things that could have been better. One is basic storage. It’s just 32GB. It could have been better. And two, I would have liked to see improved front and rear cameras. Apple has been working far too long with these 8-megapixel, 1.2-megapixel sensors.
But all things considered, the iPad is one tablet that you won’t regret having if a tablet is what you need.